Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Chamberlains - complete legal services for business

Another one bites the dust: proposed sale of Hawker IGA to Woolworth

By Dacquiri - 18 October 2012 32

In what looks like another nail in the coffin of competitors to the big two supermarket chains — as well as validation of community concerns expressed during the mishandled draft Hawker Master Plan process — Woolworth has made an offer for the Hawker IGA.

There are a lot of interesting things about this, not least the fact that the story was carried yesterday (17 Oct) by the Australian Financial Review, with, extraordinarily, not a peep from the Canberra Times or other local media. The AFR’s focus was on what Woolworth is up to in terms of expansion, and the fact that the proposal is current the subject of an ACCC review.

There are a lot of uncomfortable things about this, including the lack of transparency on the part of one of the IGA owners who was a member of the draft master plan Reference Group during protracted discussions about the master plan without coming clean about his intentions and negotiations with Woolworth.

As the AFR notes, the IGA owner ‘agreed to sell his Hawker store after Woolworths offered 17 times weekly earnings, “an offer he couldn’t refuse”. However, Woolworths said it had been approached by the owner and … agreed to buy the freehold site, supermarket business and liquor licence, pending ACCC approval.

… The ACCC’s review will consider Woolworths’ existing presence in the local market. Woolworths has four supermarkets within three to six kilometres of Hawker, Coles has two and Aldi three.”

The Hawker IGA is popular with shoppers for the friendliness of its staff and for the accessibility of parking, as well as for its quirky supply of out-of-the-ordinary continental groceries (and, I might add, the best choices of Moscato in Belconnen).

Closing date for submissions to the ACCC review is 5 November.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments
32 Responses to
Another one bites the dust: proposed sale of Hawker IGA to Woolworth
1
theoutsider 9:30 pm
18 Oct 12
#

Haha, this is too funny. The Friends of Hawker Village (a group I assume the OP is a member of?) never accepted the validity of an independent retail study by Macroplan that showed the Hawker shops is underperforming and not attracting the retail spend it should and white-anted the entire consultation process, but then a major retailer realises the Macroplan data is sound and wants to buy in.

Report this comment

2
ps0104 11:41 am
19 Oct 12
#

Can anyone with a much better knowledge of ACCC processes than mine shed any light on whether the reviews is a mere technicality or if there is a significant chance it could be knocked back?

While I acknowledge that there are challenges attached, on the whole I would see this as a positive. A woolworths will likely draw more people in the area which is good for the other surrounding businesses and will hopefully help drive a facelift to the ugly nature of those shops.

Report this comment

3
KandyA 3:48 pm
19 Oct 12
#

BOOOO!

where will I then find such a selection of pickled vegetables from Eastern Europe?

(Im pretty sure there are none left in eastern europe, what with the bulk amounts currently available at Hawker IGA). I actually enjoy shopping there, linger in the preserved veg section, its quite…. continental. I guess their liquor license did in the former bottle-o ~15yrs ago that itself had the best range of brews available in a corner shop.) Hawker – unexpected diversity, to be undiversified. Its currently the only succesful remnant of the community shopping precinct that I can think of, hope it doesnt lose its charm!

Report this comment

4
Dacquiri 7:10 pm
19 Oct 12
#

The loss of pickled vegetables from Eastern Europe will be the least of your problems. Try: the over-development, the loss of convenient car parking, and the demise of small independent shops — in other words, all the things that formed the basis for the rejection of the badly-devised ‘draft master plan’ that the LDA tried to force on the community.
Given Hawker’s proximity to the expanding Belco Markets, as well as to Jamison, Westfield Belconnen & Kippax, it’s hard to make the case that public interest (or any form of ‘supermarket competition’) would be served by turning that supermarket into a Woolworth. The MacroPlan study was flawed beyond belief and was at odds with the shopper surveys. Really, there is only so much shopping dollar to go around, and any additional spend that Hawker picks up will be at the expense of somewhere else. Hawker shops have a particular clientele, supported by patients who visit the co-located medical centre & allied health professionals, as well as tradies who can actually park their trailers and large vehicles there. The IGA attracts customers for the convenient parking, the personable staff (& no infernal ‘self-check-outs’) and the good ‘specials’, as well as for the continental foods not found elsewhere.
The shopping centre would benefit from some modernisation — not from what appears to be vicious sabotage by TAMS, who have removed the wisteria covering on the pergola and replaced it with a stark metal cage.

Report this comment

5
Thumper 7:19 pm
19 Oct 12
#

This is just wrong.

The way we are heading we will end up with a world where you have a few shops, Woolworths, Coles etc and a few mega clubs.

Everything will simply be crushed by these giants.

Small pubs and shops can never hope to compete and the big entities can simply lower prices until the competition is gone.

Not a thing to look forward to hey?

Report this comment

6
clj 7:22 pm
19 Oct 12
#

That’s a real pity. The Hawker IGA is very accessible, not least because it isn’t humungous, and of course parking nearby etc. Somebody I know with a mobility impairment goes there for her shopping even though Jamison and Belco are closer, simply because it’s that much less of an ordeal (though bigger than Cook which doesn’t have the variety).

Also last time I was in Hawker shops the Eastern European aisle was pretty much cleaned out. And I agree, Dacquiri, that wisteria was beautiful.

Report this comment

7
maxblues 8:11 pm
19 Oct 12
#

This has been common knowledge amongst Canberra retail community, so just assumed pollies were trying to keep it quiet until after election.

Report this comment

8
Kim F 8:15 pm
19 Oct 12
#

how do they work out there are 4 Woolies within 6km? Belconned & Kippax yes, Not Dickson or Coolamon surely

Report this comment

9
Muttsybignuts 9:46 pm
19 Oct 12
#

Thumper said :

This is just wrong.

The way we are heading we will end up with a world where you have a few shops, Woolworths, Coles etc and a few mega clubs.

Everything will simply be crushed by these giants.

Small pubs and shops can never hope to compete and the big entities can simply lower prices until the competition is gone.

Not a thing to look forward to hey?

What do you mean “they way we are heading”?. I think we are already there!

Report this comment

10
Muttsybignuts 9:48 pm
19 Oct 12
#

Wouldn’t it just be a case of IGA moving out and Woolworths moving in? A new bit of signage and the dreaded self serve checkouts? If that’s the case then surely not much will change.
Or, is Woolworths looking to bulldoze and rebuild bigger and better? I doubt it.

Report this comment

11
Dacquiri 10:50 pm
19 Oct 12
#

It may start out that way – and then again, it may not. The current IGA size is apparently smaller than a ‘full service’ supermarket (that the Coles & Woolies usually consider suitable for their requirements), and there was a big push by the IGA owners, as part of the master plan, to give them an expanded ‘footprint’ which would involve building on the site of the nearest surface car park. Not sure what they can do in the short-term, given ACT Govt statement re ‘no Government development for 3 years’ — presumably that could change with a new Govt, who could find a ‘reason’ to sell the car parks, after all.
There needs to be a combined community-traders-landlord initiative for Hawker: traders need to be up-front about what they want (some want larger premises — and some traders are also building owners); the numerous landlords need to get their act together to make the place look more attractive; the community, as centre users, need to have a voice; and ACT Govt needs to agree to not enhance, and not to destroy, the things that bring people there. IGA owners will make a tidy profit if they sell to Woolworths, but it’s doubtful that anyone else will benefit.

Report this comment

12
Dacquiri 10:52 pm
19 Oct 12
#

Sorry, slip of the keyboard — that was supposed to be: ‘ACT Govt needs to agree to enhance, and not to destroy, the things that bring people there.’

Report this comment

13
Chello 11:28 pm
19 Oct 12
#

It’s all about $$money$$ and how much more one can get! And..@ theoutsider…I don’t believe the Macroplan data was white-anted – did you actually look at ‘THE MASTER PLAN’ for Hawker Shops?
Now unfortunatley it looks like the owners IGA Hawker are out to get what they can.

Report this comment

14
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 7:45 am
20 Oct 12
#

No point whinging really. It’s how the world works. Don’t get me wrong, I hate woolworths and Coles and only shop there out of nesecity. Meats and veg I get from butchers and markets and small items from iga, but who is anybody to tell the iga owners what they can and can’t do with their business?

Report this comment

15
maxblues 11:53 am
20 Oct 12
#

The owners of Hawker IGA also own several other supermarkets, including Lyneham and Karabar, so will they be offering these to Woolworths in future?

Report this comment

1 2 3

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2016 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

Search across the site